Class 1 - Week 9 - Sharing Your Screen

Being able to show what's going on your computer can come in very
handy in many situations. You can show your mentor an issue that
you're having difficulty explaining, share your workflow with
students, or critique other people's work.

To get started, we'll need to get a program that will allow us to
share our desktop over the AM chat. There are many to pick from but
the following 3 are the most popular choices.

Pros - Good quality, lots of options
Cons - Mac only

Pros - Completely free, no watermarks
Cons - Options are not quite as robust, video quality is not the highest

Pros - More options
Cons - Free version has watermark and pop up ads, takes a lot more

Of these 3, ManyCam is my personal favorite with it's light resource
load and lack of a watermark. WebCamMax is my least favorite due to
it's ads and the annoyingly large watermark it adds to your video.
As for CamTwist, I've heard it's the best but as I don't have a Mac, I
haven't been able to test it personally. If you want to try out
CamTwist, here is link to a tutorial that should help get everything
set up.

Setting up a Desktop Stream on Mac OS X

It goes over a few more programs as well but you should only need to
go over the CamTwist section.

/// Warning ///
With any of these free programs, when you go to install them, they may
try to install toolbars in your browsers. To prevent it, just be sure
to read each page of the installation carefully and decline the toolbar
installation. If a toolbar gets installed and you can't figure out how
to remove it, feel free to send us a message and we'd be more than
happy to help.

With that all out of the way, let's get a program setup. Since I'm
Mac-less and don't care for ads on my computer, I'll be using ManyCam.
(ManyCam has updated to version 3, changing the interface slightly.
While it may look different, all the buttons and controls are the same)

  • First step, download and install ManyCam (when asked to
    install the Ask toolbar, make sure you hit Decline)
  • Once installed, it may ask to use "fddshow" with ManyCam. This is
    a video codec that ManyCam uses for some of it's features, so feel
    free to allow it.
  • With the program installed, there is only one setting that I like
    to change before starting any screen sharing. Under "Effects > Text
    over video" uncheck "Show Logo". This will turn off the
    ManyCam watermark in the video and give you a more professional look.

That didn't take too long to setup! Now we can start playing around
with the program. The two main sections in ManyCam are Effects and
Sources. Effects covers anything that you can overlay over your video,
such as text or drawings and Sources deal with what will be displayed,
be it your webcam, desktop, or even a movie file.

Since most of the Effects and Sources are pretty self explanatory,
I'll just go over the different screen sharing options which you can
find under "Sources > Desktop".

We'll begin with the 3 buttons directly under the video. From left to
right, they are, Single Mode, PiP Mode, and Pause

Single Mode: Sets ManyCam to use only one video source. Use it
to get out of PiP Mode.

PiP Mode: Also known as Picture in Picture, this allows you to
overlay a second video source over the main one. To use it, click the
PiP button, click on the new video that pops up (it should say "Choose
source for Picture in Picture" by default) and choose a source from
the list on the left. You can then move and resize the PiP view so
it's not covering anything you want to show.

Pause: Pretty straight forward, pauses the ManyCam broadcast.

At the top right are all the video color and orientation settings and
under that on the bottom bar you will find the most important
settings. The View types!

The 3 different desktop view types, Full, Partial, and Custom, are
what you'll use to show the desktop. Just click the one that will best
suit your needs and ManyCam will start sharing your screen instead of
the webcam.

Full desktop: Simple enough, shows the entire computer desktop.
If you have multiple monitors, it will span across all of them. This
view is okay to show your workspace but isn't really clear enough for
most people to see.

Partial desktop: This method zooms in the camera and follows
the mouse cursor. A great way to show your workflow or how to navigate
through menus. But the constant movement can easily be distracting and

Custom desktop: Allows you to choose a section of the desktop
to display. Probably the most useful of the view methods as it allows
you to zoom in, making things clearer, and keeps the focus on what
your working on. The only thing to watch out for is if the custom view
is too rectangular, it will display in a smaller size.

Update rate: This setting determines the frame rate of the
video feed. I like to set it all the way up but that may vary
depending on your internet speed. You won't be able to get 24 frames
per second while sharing your screen but it's usually high enough to
show your work properly.

When you're all done sharing your screen and are ready to go back on
camera, all you need to do is go under Sources > Cameras and choose
the name of your webcam.

Another great feature that ManyCam offers is the ability to draw over
your video source.
Under Effects > Drawing over video you'll find all the tools you'll
need to draw with.

To remove the drawing once you're done, as with any effect, hit the X
beside the effect name in the "Select effects" box at the top right.

There are a lot of other cool things you can do, so be sure to play
around and try different things.

With everything setup, it's time to start broadcasting to the world!
But what's this? When you test your camera in the Q&A it only shows
your webcam? That's because there's one more setting we need to
change, but this one is in the AM chat itself. This will apply no
matter which program your using to share your screen.

Hit the Test Camera button in the Q&A and right click on the video.
Under the Camera tab (the one that looks like a round webcam) set the
camera to ManyCam Video Source. You should now be able to share your
screen in any Q&A!

Hopefully that was helpful and as usual, if you have any questions or
comments, feel free to contact us on Skype, AMConnect or by PM.

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